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IBA: It's Safe to Ask for Help

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Whether you are a sole practitioner or an attorney in a 200 attorney law firm, you have probably had a question at some point in your career that you struggled to answer – or perhaps you simply wanted a second opinion. Members of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Senior Counsel Division Executive Committee have walked in those shoes, and as a result they offer a Safe Ask program.

The purpose of the Safe Ask program is to provide an option for IndyBar attorney members to seek confidential guidance and information from members of the IndyBar’s Senior Counsel Division (SCD) online or by phone. The sole goal of the program is to assist IndyBar members in providing high quality and ethical legal services to their clients.

“I recently fielded a Safe Ask from a young lawyer who had been put in a very tough spot by another member of his firm. He was very appreciative of the ability to talk confidentially with someone about the situation and praised the program,” said Jeffrey Meunier, a member of the Senior Counsel Division and Safe Ask Panel Member.

Since the practice of law is an art, there is usually no one “best” method to resolve a legal issue. Therefore, the assistance given by members of the IndyBar’s Senior Counsel Division should be considered as a recommended approach and not as a guarantee that it will obtain the desired results. Users of the program are advised to exercise their independent judgment in deciding upon their course of action.

Meunier noted, “Though we don’t get a high volume of calls, it is obviously provides an extremely valuable service.”

All communications remain confidential to the extent there is not a violation of the Rule of Professional Conduct (see Rule 8.3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct). To utilize the Safe Ask program IndyBar members simply telephone or e-mail a member of the Safe Ask panel. If e-mailing, please type IBA Safe Ask in the subject line of the e-mail. Those serving on the panel are Raymond Good, John Herrin Jr., Paul Kortepeter, Claire Lewis, John Render, Robert York, and Jeffrey Meunier. The full listing with contact information may be found on the IndyBar website, www.indybar.org.

If there is a concern about a Rule 8.3 violation, attorneys are encouraged to instead address those concerns to the highly capable members of the Indiana State Bar Association Ethics Committee.•

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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